ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

Selling Mobility Instead of Cars: New Business Strategies of Automakers and the Impact on Private Vehicle Holding

by Jörg Firnkorn; Martin Müller

Nov 16, 2011

This article considers the business strategy of an automaker entering the car-sharing market. Given the high growth of the car-sharing industry, this could become a new business segment and simultaneously have effects on branding. The considered case is a car-sharing system called car2go, which was launched by Daimler in 2009. An empirical analysis based on primary data (Nā€‰=ā€‰1881) indicates that private vehicles are reduced as a consumer reaction. This constitutes a potential for environmental gains, as shared and consecutively used cars require less of production resources compared to a higher number of private cars being bought, driven and parked individually. Implications for public policy are that the allocation of public space to car-sharing systems could result in a net gain of space in cities. Policy makers should also consider the dependency of car-sharing schemes on municipal support regarding parking spaces and they should anticipate the upcoming electrification. This is the first study on a large-scale car-sharing system operated by an automaker using retrospective primary data. It contributes to the assessment of the current trend of car manufacturers launching car-sharing schemes.

Selling Mobility Instead of Cars: New Business Strategies of Automakers and the Impact on Private Vehicle Holding